Stop Overpraising. Now.


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My new favorite phrase: giving self-esteem without portfolio.

What does it mean? Well, it’s bad, it’s wrong, and you’re probably doing it.

“Giving self-esteem without portfolio” is Katie Couric’s way of saying you’re overpraising your child.

The CBS newscaster talks about over-praising — and better ways to encourage your children — with Ellen Galinsky, author of Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs.

If you don’t have time to watch the three-minute video, here’s the take away:

Telling your kid, “you’re so smart!” makes them fear mistakes. They’ll take fewer risks, if any at all, and without making mistakes they won’t really learn anything.

Instead, acknowledge your child’s effort. “You spent a lot of time on that project!” “I see that you’re working hard!”

Process not outcome, people, process not outcome.

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Video: CBS